Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Pulp-Surface Chemistry in Flotation

The role of chemistry is critical in determining the recovery and grade of concentrates in flotation. Optimal liberation and hydrodynamics, relative to particle size, may be completely negated given insufficient hydrophobicity of target mineral particles and limited differential hydrophobicity (selectivity) between value and gangue phases.
At the core of the AMIRA P260 series of research projects has been the understanding and control of pulp chemistry and its influence on mineral particle surface properties in the flotation. This has included Eh/pH effects, oxidation and/or dissolution control, depression of gangue, dispersion, activation and deactivation, collector adsorption mechanisms, mitigation of salinity and process water effects, froth behaviour, etc. These processes have also been studied with respect to particle size and morphology, making the connection with hydrodynamics. The combined use of bulk, solution and surface analytical methods have played a major role in the long term success of AMIRA P260 and its delivery of outcomes, including more than $1 billion return on investment, to the minerals processing sector.

Bill Skinner
Prof. Bill Skinner of Australia's Ian Wark Research Institute, has been associated with the flagship AMIRA P260 flotation series of projects since 1993 and has led it since 2011. We are pleased that he has accepted an invitation to give a keynote lecture on typical and unusual pulp-surface chemistry mechanisms in flotation at Flotation '15, in the Fundamentals of Physics and Chemistry Symposium. This will supplement the keynote by Prof. Jan Cilliers, of Imperial College who will discuss modern methods of exploring the physics of flotation. The 3rd keynote, in the Applications Symposium, will be given by Peter Amelunxen, of Aminpro, Chile, recipient of the 2011 MEI Young Person's Award.

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